Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tender Time


Everything has been so smooth for so long that I didn't remember coming into the holidays that it's all wonderful and exciting for me as a mom, but completely new and unknown to Jie Jie. She's excited, but also has some trepidation as it's all new to her. The best way to describe her for the last couple days is mildly moody, which for her is pretty moody because she's normally so even-tempered. I'm getting tons and tons of kisses. Believe it or not, it's actually annoying, but it's a sign that she needs more of me right now. Today, she grabbed my hand as I was dumping toddler potties into the toilet and kissed my palm before I could stop her. Ew - gross!

Two nights ago, I realized how much she still needs "baby play." Tickling, little piggies, hiding under blankets, etc... Like all our children, she needs a LOT of physical contact and I've had a lot of trouble with my back lately so I've not been able to pick her up or hold her like I usually do and she's missing it.

In the next moment, she'll be reciting the alphabet and reading letters on anything with a label, or organizing the daycare kids into a fun game.

Then, she'll get all quiet and when I ask if she's okay, she sort of shrinks a little more. When I put my arms around her, her eyes start to well up with tears, then she cries softly for a little bit and is fine. Sometimes she says she misses those she loves in China, other times she says she doesn't know why she's crying.

Each low mood is last just a few minutes. It's long enough for me to realize she's working on the next level of adjustment and attachment, along with figuring out what all this holiday stuff means.

Today I had the daycare kids draw a picture of their families. This exercise was really for Jie Jie's benefit since she's the only one old enough to draw and not just scribble. She drew me and herself, gong gong, ayi (my aunty), and another ayi, the friend who came to China with me. She came up with this family grouping all on her own. I am thrilled that she realizes that this is her family circle.

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